Sunday, July 03, 2011

Our musical 4th of July Weekend continues with "Salute to the Services"


by Ken

We kicked off our "musical 4th of July Weekend" yesterday with performances of E. E. Bagley's irresistible National Emblem march by Morton Gould and Felix Slatkin. Today we listen again to a sequence of marches we first heard in that same May 2010 "Sousapalooza" post. Here it is, pretty much as it was presented back then.


Which brings me to a record that has given me as much pleasure as any I've owned. It contains just under 39 minutes of music, which was kind of stingy even on LP. Still, it's just as well that in preparing a CD edition EMI didn't try to pad it out. The LP was about as close to perfect as they come.

The official title is The Military Band,with the subtitle "Salute to the Services" (I believe on LP it was "A Hi-Fi Salute . . ."), which I've always taken to refer to the suite of five marches at the start, which are preceded by "Reveille" and followed by "Taps." Actually, on the CD "Taps" comes at the end of the program; I've taken the liberty of shifting it to where it seems to me to belong: following the five marches (some more official than others) representing the five U.S. military services.

1. Reveille
2. SOUSA: The U.S. Field Artillery March (Army)
3. ZIMMERMAN: Anchors Aweigh (Navy)
4. MANCINI arr.: Marines on Parade
5. CRAWFORD: U.S. Air Force Song
6. VAN BOSKERCK: Semper Paratus (Coast Guard)
7. Taps

Concert Arts Symphonic Band, Felix Slatkin, cond. Capitol/EMI, recorded 1958

I kept going back and forth as to whether to make separate files of the individual pieces or to put them all in one "suite" file, and finally opted for the latter -- with some care, you can still pick out the individual pieces within the group file. I think they're more fun heard in one fell swoop, and the better you get to know them, the more fun they are. This is, by the way, more music that falls in the category of stuff I can, indeed have been known to, listen to over and over and over.


Tomorrow we bring our musical 4th to the only possible climax.

SCHEDULE NOTE: The Sunday Classics post with Bruno Walter rehearsing and performing Wagner's Siegfried Idyll will follow at 2pm PT.

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At 2:54 PM, Blogger Philip Munger said...

I directed the local community band in Wasilla AK for over 13 years. We gave a lot of patriotic concerts, including 13 on July 4ths, while I ran the group.

My favorite program we gave was:

Semper Fidelis - Sousa
American Salute - Morton Gould
Armed Forces Salute (includes many of your armed services songs listed above, in a tight arrangement)
National Emblem March
Deep River (spiritual)
Ballad of the Green Berets - Sadler, in my own arrangement
Hands Across the Sea - Sousa
Victory at Sea Suite - Richard Rodgers
Adagio for Strings - Barber, in my own arrangement for large brass choir
Stars & Stripes Forever - Sousa

At 4:33 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Cool, Philip! Thanks!


At 1:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Ken; excellent job. Very inspiring and I like the way you have created a smooth transition. I miss seeing the "salute to the services" which was an annual tradition by the Boston Pops.

Thanks for creating and posting it!

Steve in "toasty" Arizona


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